The Rose of Tralee International festival is reconnecting with over five million people who have attended the festival since 1959, for the extended Rose Gathering celebration which will take place from 14th to 16th August 2013.

The Rose of Tralee International Festival is one of Ireland's largest and longest running festivals, celebrating 50 years in 2009. The heart of the festival is the selection of the Rose of Tralee which brings young women of Irish descent from around the world to County Kerry, Ireland for a global celebration of Irish culture.

The search for 2013 Rose of Tralee is underway as Nicola McEvoy, Rose of Tralee 2012 was joined by Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Leo Varadkar and RTÉ’s Rose of Tralee TV Presenter, Dáithí Ó Sé to send the first official invitation today, a message in a bottle.

It was sent from the deck of Kerry built Jeanie Johnston Replica Famine ship, a symbol of mass emigration from Ireland in the 19th century.

Also at today’s double launch where Alice O’Sullivan (1959 Dublin) and Róisín Egenton (2000 New York), they were the first and Millennium Roses of Tralee. Together, they officially launched the search to find the 2013 Rose of Tralee and encourage eligible Irish women from all over the world to download an entry form from the Rose of Tralee website.

General Manager of the Rose of Tralee, Oliver Hurley, said: “Our 'Gathering' happens every year in Tralee but only after our 70 Rose Centres have each had their Gathering events. Our Festival could not happen without our lead sponsors, Newbridge Silverware as well as RTÉ, Fáilte Ireland, Kerry County Council, Motivation Weight Management, Carlton Hotel Group, Dublin Airport, Irish Independent and Bon Secours Hospital Tralee. We are most grateful for all their support and we ask our festival friends to support them in any way they can.”

Newbridge Silverware, the lead sponsors of the Festival, will present the next Rose of Tralee with a range of handcrafted jewellery and homeware products. She will also receive a World Travel Prize worth €25,000 from Dublin Airport Authority, a year’s driving in a brand new car and much more.

"The Rose of Tralee has been hosting Gatherings since 1959, so it’s great to launch their ‘Search for a Rose’ during the Gathering 2013. I also love the idea of inviting every Rose back to Tralee this year for the Rose Gathering. It’s a really good example of how a long-established festival can add a new twist for this year’s celebrations,” Minister Varadkar said at the launch.

The Festival has connected the global Irish community in Tralee since 1959 attracting millions of festival-goers, thousands of Roses, their Escorts, families and friends, entertainers, volunteers, judges and sponsors.

The 2013 Rose of Tralee will be crowned in the Dome on Tuesday 20th August after Dáithí Ó Sé presents two nights entertainment to a huge TV audience.

The west Kerryman said that it’s easy to think about the warmth of August in this cold weather and he’s looking forward to hosting it again and seeing all the Roses return to Kerry.


Presenter Daithi O'Se with some of the 2011 32 Roses during their visit to RTEKOBPIX